It’s very difficult to define and prove psychiatric injuries for the purpose of receiving workers compensation. To be successful in such a claim, you often need to turn to the expertise of a Sydney compensation lawyer, but why is it so difficult to prove a psychiatric injury in the workplace?
A psychiatric injury in the workplace, or a work-related mental disorder as defined by SafeWork Australia is a little difficult to understand. In essence it boils down to mental stress, which isn’t actually a health condition, but rather the cause of health conditions like stress, anxiety, depression, and nervous breakdowns. SafeWork Australia realises that this mental stress can be caused by all number of things including seeing or being involved in a traumatic event, workplace violence, harassment, work pressure, or suicides and attempted suicides. However, just because you experience mental stress, doesn’t mean you will actually develop a diagnosable mental disorder – that all depends upon a wide range of factors including your own individual personality. So if mental stress is such a loose and slippery thing, is there even a chance of you receiving workers compensation for it?
In actuality, you can claim for workers compensation as a result of mental stress as long as you have evidence that the events occurred and it has affected you in negative some way. The problem is that many people do not claim for workers compensation for mental stress and psychiatric injuries for a number of reasons. One of the key reasons why people won’t make claims is because they do not realise it is possible to do so, and instead choose to use their own sick or holiday leave as a means of recovery. Other people leave the stressful work environment all together and don’t claim for compensation, possibly because they just want to get on with their lives. Others worry that if they do claim for psychiatric injury they will be treated differently as a result of having a mental illness.
The heart of it all is compensation law can help you if you suffer a psychiatric injury, but you can never be compensated if you don’t actually tell someone that you are suffering. If no one knows anything, they can’t do anything.